Photography, as well as the act of running a photography business, is a learned skill. It takes time and lots of experience to learn all the ins and outs of a successful photoshoot. Below we’ve outlined eight common mistakes new photographers make over the course of their professional journeys. Learning about these mistakes now, and taking the proper steps to avoid them, will help you build your business and your reputation as a seasoned, professional photographer.
1. Not having a ‘Plan B’.
It is absolutely necessary to have a ‘Plan B’ in place when things don’t go as expected. That means having alternate locations for shoots as well as having backup equipment available. You never know when something will go wrong, so it’s a good idea to think through the logistics of your photoshoot and plan for any potential issues.
2. Forgetting to bring a battery backup.
While this is a component of your ‘Plan B’, it bears mentioning again. There is nothing worse than running out of power in the middle of a photoshoot. Sometimes batteries fail or sometimes photographers forget to charge them fully before a shoot. That’s why it’s best to always bring a backup battery for added protection.
3. Only shooting at your eye level.
A lot of beginning photographers shoot photos mainly at their own level, standing straight up. While this can work for some photos, it doesn’t work for others, especially photos that include children or pets. Getting down to the eye level of your subject(s) can help you capture much better shots with better framing. Experiment with taking photos at different levels and angles so that you can see what makes your subject(s) look best.
4. Being too trigger-happy.
A lot of new photographers make the mistake of holding their camera’s shutter button down in continuous mode or hitting the button repeatedly without varying their subject’s pose. This results in A LOT of very similar images. When it comes time to edit, choosing the right shot from dozens of nearly identical images will eat up a lot of your time. Instead, try shooting more deliberately, and vary your subjects’ pose slightly between shots to get the most variety.
5. Awkward posing.
Many of your photography subjects will not feel comfortable posing for photos. While it’s perfectly fine to find pose ideas online and try them with your subjects, they will likely feel awkward being told how to stand. Instead of focusing only on capturing the “ideal” poses that you find online, work harder at putting your subjects at ease by making eye contact and casual, fun conversation with them. This will help them feel more comfortable and happy, which will come across better in the final photos.
6. Not paying enough attention to background elements.
A distracting background object can ruin a perfectly good photo. A lot of beginning photographers fail to notice when an object, such as a tree or a telephone pole, appears to be sticking up out of, or cutting through, their subject. When taking photos of your subject, do a scan of the entire image frame so that you can make sure there aren’t any objects in the background disrupting your perfect shot.
7. Cleaning camera lenses with clothing.
Your camera’s lens is delicate, and should be treated accordingly. If you use your seemingly clean clothing to wipe your lens, you may be unintentionally scratching it with dirt particles and smudging it with oil from your body. Instead of wiping your lens with a part of your clothing, use a microfiber cloth that you carry solely for that purpose.
8. Not backing up files.
Technology can, and will, fail. The hard drive where you store your image files is not 100% reliable. If you only store images on your hard drive, and it fails, you’ll be out of luck. Make sure that you have a second (possibly even a third) copy of your files stored in case of technology failure. With the variety of cloud storage and external hard drive options available, it’s not hard to find a suitable backup location for your photos.
By acknowledging these potential mistakes now, and taking precautions to avoid them, you can set yourself up for a successful photoshoot. Not only will you feel more prepared and confident, your clients will see you as a true professional. At Airavata Studios, we take steps to prepare appropriately for each and every one of our photography sessions so that we can provide the best results. If you’re looking for a seasoned professional for your photography needs, contact us today!